The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, originally expected to be passed a year ago, essentially amends a whole raft of other laws and brings Australia closer into line with the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime. Australia is one of 35 nations, including the US, which are now party to the Convention which is intended to facilitate information sharing about cybercrime by international law enforcement agencies.
Welcoming the passage of the bill through the Senate, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said it would become easier for police to track down cyber criminals around the world. "In particular, this will help combat criminal offences relating to forgery, fraud, child pornography, and infringement of copyright and intellectual property.
"The Convention promotes a coordinated approach to cybercrime by requiring countries to criminalise these computer related offences. The Convention also establishes procedures to make investigations more efficient to improve international cooperation."
Nigel Phair , a partner at Surete Group and a director of the Centre for Internet Safety at the University of Canberra, said that the major impact of the legislation would be that it would allow; “International law enforcement agencies to work closer with us,” by harmonising relevant Australia legislation.
“We do have to meed cyber criminals head on,” he added.
According to the Attorney General’s Department Europe’s Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.
The Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 amends the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987, the Criminal Code Act 1995, the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and the Telecommunications Act 1997.